THE McCARTY STORY
The journey begins with Paul Reed Smith’s fascination with the golden era of guitar building, considered by many to have been in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. During this time, a man by the name of Ted McCarty was a pioneer of the electric guitar and the musical instrument industry. He served as vice president of the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1949 and later as president from 1950-1966. McCarty was responsible for a number of patents and innovations including the humbucking pickup, Explorer, Flying V, SG, and Firebird to name a few.
As a young man in the 1980's, Paul was conducting extensive research on the electric guitar and he continued to notice McCarty’s name among patents. He was urged by a friend to reach out to Ted McCarty and interview him. Paul visited Ted and formed a wonderful relationship with him. Consequently, Ted McCarty became a mentor and dear friend not just to Paul but to the PRS company.
Throughout the late 80's and early 90's, Paul called on Ted to consult with him on various guitar design and production techniques and in 1994 a new guitar model was introduced - the McCarty. This guitar became Paul’s tribute to Ted and a tangible way to pay homage to Ted’s legacy of innovation. The McCarty model incorporated the full spectrum of techniques and knowledge Paul had gained from Ted as well as his own experiences as a guitar builder.
In 2015, PRS re-released the McCarty model with new 58/15 pickups - vintage voiced and personally designed by Paul Reed Smith.
However, like any true passion, the journey never really came to a close, and in late 2015 PRS team began development on what they would later call the "McCarty 594."